The one where my dad orders salad better than you.


There used to be this restaurant I would go to with my parents when we lived in Charlotte, North Carolina. I do not remember the name, however, I do remember what my dad would order. I used to think it was so odd, and now….well, I now know he was just a genius. It was a garden salad with steak and french fries on it. Duh. I mean, why not?

I am feeling pretty listy, so I made a list of things about my dad:

  • He always answers his phone. Only when on an airplane or sleeping would you not be able to reach him on the phone.
  • He orders his clothes in bulk from the internet. I’ll explain: He wears a black T-shirt and khaki shorts ‘err day.  Don’t even talk to him about long pants, he gets cranky.  So when he found the style and size he liked best, he stuck with it.  He just re-orders online when it’s time for new ones. Some might find this odd, I find it adorable.
  • He uses the internet for only a handful of things, one of which is to watch/listen to music. He loves Derek Trucks.
  • He is frustratingly good at everything. 
  • He is the perfect person to geek out with over good food. I mean, you do remember how I told you he eats salad, right??
  • He has 2 daughters, and although I think he would have raised the coolest sons ever, he is the perfect dad for girls. One time when I was 13, I was at the store with my dad and I needed pads. He would always ask me if I needed anything before we checked out.  When I told him I needed pads he sent me to go get them. I had no idea what to get. That was always one of those things that my mom just kept in the cabinet in the bathroom. Eeek. Panic! After looking for a bit, I walked back to where my dad was waiting.  My dad looked at what I had brought and told me that was for older people and that wasn’t what I needed. I had grabbed Depends. Oops. He took my over to the feminine hygiene aisle and helped me pick some that would work. Was he uncomfortable? If he was, I had no idea. At that age, I didn’t want to talk about my period to anyone, much less my father. Again, perfect dad for girls.
  • He will help you learn a lesson when you screw up. Trust me, I know. There is only one thing I am not allowed to call him and ask for help for and that is running out of gas. I did this one time and he told me no more. I have to call someone else. 🙂

I am so excited for the relationship that my husband, Joshua, gets to have with our two little girls. Fathers love their daughters greatly.

I leave you with this amazingly, delicious recipe for steak salad from The Pioneer Woman. Let’s face it, she does everything right. 🙂

2 whole Rib-eye Or Strip Steaks, Extra Fat Trimmed
3/4 cups Canola Oil
3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon (additional) Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
2 Tablespoons Sugar
3 cloves Garlic, Peeled
1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Hot Chili Oil
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Lots Of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 whole Onions, Sliced As Thin As Possible
2 cups Buttermilk
2 cups Flour
1 Tablespoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 quart Canola Oil
Black Pepper To Taste
1/2 cup Pecans, Chopped
1 cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Water
Lettuce Mix: Romaine, Arugula, Watercress, Raddiccio, Etc.
Small Grape Tomatoes
3/4 cups Crumbled Blue Cheese
To make the dressing/marinade, combine all ingredients in a mason jar with the lid. Shake vigorously to combine; taste and adjust seasonings to taste.

Place steak in a plastic zipper bag. Pour in half the marinade and seal. Refrigerate and marinate for at least two hours.

Prepare the onion strings: Slice onion very thin. Place in a baking dish and cover with buttermilk and soak for at least an hour.

Make the candied pecans: Spread pecans on a baking mat or sheet of waxed paper. Add sugar and water to a small saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Cook to 280 degrees, or until dark and clear amber in color, about 5 to 6 minutes. Pour mixture over pecans (may not need all of mixture) and quickly stir/poke with a fork to evenly distribute mixture all over pecans. Allow to cool completely.

Make the onion strings: Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Grab a handful of onions, throw into the flour mixture, tap to shake off excess, and PLUNGE into hot oil. Fry for a few minutes and remove to a paper towel-lined plate as soon as they are golden brown. Repeat until onions are gone.

Grill (or saute) the steak over medium-high heat until medium rare, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and allow to rest. Slice steak against the grain in thin slices.

In a large bowl, add lettuce mix, blue cheese, and cherry tomatoes. Add a little dressing and toss to combine. Add more if needed. Add candied pecans at the end and toss to combine.

Heap salad on a plate, making sure to get plenty of blue cheese, tomatoes, and pecans on each plate. Add half a steak to the top of each plate, then top the steak with onion strings.

Serve immediately. Yum!

Click here for more recipes from my gal The Pioneer Woman!


Arguing about Cheetos.


It is beyond appropriate that my very first blog post be about Cheetos. What is so addicting about this orange dust-covered crunch snack? It had been forever since I had eaten any Cheetos, but when I was pregnant with Betsy someone had left a small bag of them at my house after a party. Not wanting to be wasteful (also being preggo with zero self-control) I popped the bag open to snack away. Que Lydia. How is it that children always know when you are about to eat something without them? Sometimes I have to call her name 3-4 times before she hears me, but I crinkle a food wrapper and she comes running.

L: Mom, can I have one?

Me: probably wont like it. They are kinda spicy.

L: Oh, ok, nevermind.

I lied. It is still debatable to whether or not it was because I didn’t want her to know about Cheetos, or I just didn’t want to share.

Now since that incident I will tell you that Lydia has tried Cheetos and like everyone else in the world-loves them. Just today she saw some on a shelf and asked if she could have some. I told her no, and that we needed to have lunch. There was quite a bit of back and forth about how we can have cheese balls (why, oh why, do cheese balls exist??) for lunch, and I had to tell her that cheese balls are not real food. “Umm…mom…yes they are. You can eat cheese balls.” Five minutes later, Im still arguing with my 3-year-old. You might be thinking at that point just give her some friggin’ Cheetos. But no, it is worth it to me to have this conversation with her. Why? Because I want better for her. The day will come when she can make her own choices about food, but for right now, it is up to Josh and I.

I was hit with this thought:

Let’s replace Cheetos with sin. Cheetos = sin, got it? You with me? Okay, so God is telling me: “Andrea, no, we don’t need to _____ (fill in the blank with sin of choice).” Just like Lydia chose to make her case about eating Cheetos for lunch, I’m trying to justify my sin to God. I am thankful for a God who will listen when I try to argue with Him. Why does He do this? I believe it is because He wants better for me.